Kansas moves to 1-1 on the season after knocking off the preseason AP #1 team, the Duke Blue Devils.
Kansas trailed pretty big early, falling behind 15-6, but that seemed to provide the spark the Jayhawks needed. Kansas would go on a 10-1 run, evening the game up at 16-apiece, and with 4:02 left, the teams were still tied at 29.
While Kansas would go scoreless for the remainder of the first half, Duke would only be able to take a five point lead into halftime, 34-29.
After Bill Self talked about shot selection to the sideline reporter on his way to the locker room, the Jayhawks came out on fire in the second half. After knotting up the score once again at 37-all, KU would build a 10-point lead at 53-43 by the 10:58 mark, a lead they would maintain for a while.
But Kansas just couldn’t put Duke away. The Jayhawks still led by eight points, 70-62, with just 3:04 remaining. A Frank Jackson three-pointer, two baskets by Luke Kennard, and a Grayson Allen layup all sandwiched around an impossible 2-point jumper by Carlton Bragg saw KU’s lead down to 75-72 with 1:02 left.
Duke’s Frank Jackson would nail another three with just 20 seconds left to tie the ballgame again at 75. KU used its final timeout with 8 second left to set up Frank Mason (who else?) with an iso play and this happened:
Or was that some version of “Chop”? Bragg definitely sets a screen for Svi at the bottom of the screen there, but it didn’t matter - Frank was taking that shot all the way.
This and That
Jetlag? What jetlag?
In all seriousness, these kids are 20-ish young men. If this game would have been played on Sunday, then you could make a case for jetlag after flying from Hawaii. I’m not buying it. They likely slept on the plane, they likely slept all day Saturday, they had an easy day Sunday, and by Monday they should have been ready to go.
The Jayhawks only shot 2-17 (11.8%) from behind the arc while Duke hit 8-19 (42.1%). Not really a recipe for success. (But jet lag, right?)
Also not a recipe for success? Missing free throws, which Kansas did plenty of, making only 9-19 (47.4%). At one point KU was only 2-10, which means they closed out the game making 7-9, so that’s something, I guess.
But what is a recipe for success, at least according to Bill Self (advanced stats be damned) is rebounding. KU won that battle 38-29 against Duke, led by - are you ready for this? - Udoka Azubuike, with 12.
Speaking of Udoka, he logged 15 minutes, playing mostly in relief of a foul-plagued Landen Lucas.
Devonte Graham took a number of guarded threes that I didn’t like. He finished 1-6 from behind the arc.
Kansas has now played two games. Officials have called 111 fouls in those two games.
Josh Jackson only played 18 minutes due to foul trouble, partly his fault, but also partly due to the lose whistles. Yes, he picked up a dumb technical. But his last two fouls also weren’t fouls, either, and if I could find the clips at midnight within an hour of the game ending, I would totally put them here.
Speaking of Josh Jackson, Kansas went on its second-half run and built its lead with Jackson in the fray. Once he fouled out, Duke was able to chip away and nearly overtake the Jayhawks in the end.
Duke only played 7 players in the contest tonight, but one of those, Javin DeLaurier, was in the game for less than a minute.
I don’t care if Duke was missing their three top-20 recruits. This is a game that KU could have won by 15 or 20, but #1 teams don’t just lay over when they’re down 10 with 3 minutes left. Kansas gutted out a victory against the preseason #1 team, and it feels good.
The Jayhawks have another quick turnaround, hosting Siena in Allen Fieldhouse on Friday, Nov 18, at 7 PM.
We’ll take a closer look at the Duke game over the next day or two, but for now, the comments section is yours.